Charles Krauthammer: No Obamacare bailout for insurers
Make it one line long: "Sections 1341 and 1342 of the Affordable Care Act are hereby repealed."
End of bill. End of bailout. End of story.
But of course there's a Plan B. It's a government bailout.
Administration officials can't say it for political reasons. And they don't have to say it because it's already in the Affordable Care Act, buried deep.
Never heard of these? That's the beauty of passing a bill of such monstrous length. You can insert a chicken soup recipe and no one will notice.
The whole scheme was risky enough to begin with - getting enough enrollees and making sure 40 percent are young and healthy. Obamacare is already far behind its own enrollment estimates. But things have gotten worse.
First, it postponed the employer mandate. Then, it exempted from the individual mandate people whose policies were canceled (by Obamacare). And for those who did join the exchanges, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is "strongly encouraging" insurers to - during the "transition" - cover doctors and drugs not included in their clients' plans.
Solution? A huge government bailout. It's Obamacare's escape hatch. And - surprise, surprise - it's already baked into the law.
Such a bill would be overwhelmingly popular because Americans hate fat-cat bailouts of any kind. Why should their tax dollars be spent not only saving giant insurers but also rescuing this unworkable, unbalanced, unstable, unpopular money-pit of a health care scheme?
The only alternative would be single-payer. And try selling that to the country after the spectacularly incompetent launch of - and subsequent widespread disaffection with - mere semi-nationalization.
Who can argue with no bailout? Let the Senate Democrats decide - support the bailout and lose the Senate. Or oppose the bailout and bury Obamacare.
Charles Krauthammer's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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